Mrs. Zhang (Pu’er Tea)
Mrs. Zhang has spent most of her life dedicated to the promotion of tea as an herbal remedy. She is a member of the Dai ethnic minority group from the Xishuangbanna region of Yunnan Province, and she was born in the center of pu’er tea production in Menghai. Decades ago she started a small tea co-op with several other growers in the region, and today their pu’er tea “factory” is doing very well!
Her passion for tea began when she was a very young child. Yunnan Province is underdeveloped and quite isolated compared to other parts of China, but go back a few decades and you’d find things hadn’t changed much since ancient times. She was suffering from chronic problems regarding digestion, and one day the pain became crippling. Nobody in the village could help her, and she began to slowly waste away. They local medicine men didn’t even know what was wrong with her, and it seemed she had no hope of survival.
She wasn’t in any condition to travel down out of her mountain village, even if her father had had the means to pay for an expert to see her in the city. As a last resort, he pooled all his resources to get her the oldest tea leaves from the oldest trees on the mountain. The Dai people have always believed that the older the tree, the more potent the medicine it produced. He forced her to drink the bitter tea for weeks, and low-and-behold, it saved her life! She made a miraculous recovery and has since dedicated her life to spreading the word about the healing power of her local pu’er tea.
She is a fountain of folk knowledge, wisdom, and history. She has an obvious passion for tea and for life! She laughs and smiles with almost innocent joy for life, yet at the same time she’s a serious businesswoman who can talk numbers and manage her own deals. She can be very serious, talking with people and educating them on the healing power and wonderfully aromatic flavors of pu’er tea, and then suddenly she can smile from ear-to-ear and laugh out loud as she remembers a funny anecdote.
Her passion for health and her focus purity in her home’s most precious commodity is why we are so happy to work with her. We hope to bring the healing medicine of the ancient pu’er trees to America, and we hope it gets to those who might benefit from it. Her hope is that her efforts are somehow helping others the way the trees once helped, and are still helping, her. It’s a noble cause that we are proud to be a part of.